The responsibilities and functions quality assurance professionals are responsible for play a significant role in the success of an organization. Unfortunately, there are a number of obstacles they often face that can hamper the authority and influence needed to execute their jobs properly.
The issue of influence
QA leaders aren't given the kind of positional power that would enable them to have much leverage over important decisions. There is very limited, if any, flexibility in their positions and this makes it just about impossible for them to question, challenge or propose compliance to certain regulations and policies.
Then there is also the issue of a fragmented and isolated environment. Quality assurance tends to be perceived as a department-specific function – not as a responsibility the entire organization is accountable for. Adding to the lack of integration and collaboration is that QA professionals work with a wide range of people, which makes it hard to establish a cohesive framework for compliance.
It is crucial that QA employees are able to demonstrate a positive influence throughout the company because their work is pertinent to every function performed at every level of the organization. Fortunately, there are a handful of strategies that can be used to overcome these influence challenges and gain more authority in the workplace. We've listed a few of them below:
Take ownership. By exuding confidence, embracing responsibility and embedding pride into every aspect of the job, QA professionals can enhance the power of their role.
Fine-tune influence skills. Taking the time to hone in on and improve their influence style and techniques, QA leaders can master the ability to develop relationships and exercise personal authority in a way that allows them to get their jobs done right.
Establish trust. It is difficult to have any pull in an organization when the workers don't trust you. This is why QA employees should make it a point to build mutual respect with others and show that they are reliable.
Get executive-level support. To streamline the process of gaining more influence in the workplace, QA professionals should start at the top. By communicating the critical nature of their job functions to management and expressing what is needed to carry it out effectively, it is more likely that the rest of the organization will cooperate.